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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 18, 2011 / 14 Iyar, 5771

Our Constitution: How many of us know it?

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Thomas Jefferson often insisted that the ultimate guardians of our rights and liberties are We The People. But when many Americans are largely ignorant of the Constitution, an imperial president -- like George W. Bush or Barack Obama -- can increasingly invade our privacy; and now, with Obamacare, ration our health care and -- for some -- our very lives.

But our Founders, insistent on not replacing George III with a made-in-America king, mandated the constitutional separation of powers to prevent any president, including the two I cited earlier, from utterly disregarding Congress and the courts.

Among our imminent and future voters -- students in our schools -- how many know about the separation of powers? In the National Assessment of Educational Progress -- NAEP ("The nation's report card"):

"Only one in 10 demonstrated acceptable knowledge of the checks and balances among the legislative, executive and judicial branches, according to test results released on Wednesday." (New York Times, May 4)

And what of their parents? Of 1,000 citizens who were asked in a Newsweek poll: "'What is the supreme law of the land?' 70 percent of the 1,000 citizens polled by Newsweek couldn't answer correctly." (ABC News, May 13).

Answer: The Constitution!

Among the high-school seniors surveyed by the NAEP, three-quarters could not name "a power granted to Congress by the Constitution."

What most startled me was "the nation's report card" revealing that "a smaller proportion of fourth- and eighth-graders demonstrated proficiency in civics (who we are as Americans) than in any other subject the federal government has tested since 2005, except history, American students' worst subject."

The cold truth about this crisis among a supposedly self-governing citizenry is stated by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: "Knowledge of our system of government is not handed down through the gene pool. … But we have neglected civic education for the past several decades, and the results are predictably dismal." She also lamented (jewishworldreview.com, April 28: "Barely one-third of Americans can even name the three branches of government." (Education week, May 4) my column, "The sickly state of the First Amendment." (jewishworldreview).

She adds: "We face difficult challenges at home and abroad." (I would add, indefinitely.) "Meanwhile," O'Connor continues: "Divisive rhetoric and a culture of sound bites threaten to drown out rational dialogue and debate. We cannot afford to continue to neglect the preparation of future generations for active and informed citizenship." (New York Times, "Civics Education Called National Crisis," May 5).

I expect the name, Alexis De Tocqueville is unknown these days to most Americans, but his "Democracy in America" (written in 1831 after visiting this new nation) used to be studied in some of our schools, revealing that in the early 1800s:

"In New England, every citizen receives the elementary notions of human knowledge; he is moreover taught the doctrines and the evidences of his religion, the history of his country, and the leading features of his Constitution."

In 2011, says Charlies Quigley, head of the Center for Civic Education, the NAEP test shows that "only 4 percent of all 12th graders … (are at) a level we would hope our future leaders would attain."

Many of these students will be voting in 2012.

I would sure like to give the NAEP test to such of our present leaders as members of Congress. President Obama, who actually taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, would pass the test in a breeze. But will his unilateral suspensions of the separation of powers, the Fourth Amendment and the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment even be mentioned during the 2012 campaigns?

Not by loyal Democrats. And which of the Republican candidates for the presidency and Congress will insistently protest this national crisis of rampant ignorance of the Constitution?

Is this still the America of James Madison: "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands … may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." (James Madison, Federalist Papers 47)?

Another former Supreme Court Justice, David Souter, said during a retirement speech at the National Archives Museum (May 21, 2009) that who we are as Americans (if we only knew) "can be lost, is being lost, it is lost." What's needed "is the restoration of the self identity of the American people." (My column, "Who Are We as Americans?" cato.org, June 25, 2009).

As I have reported in previous columns, there are classrooms and a few school systems where students are finally discovering their self-identity as Americans, but very far from enough of them.

But dig this April 7 Baltimore Sun story by Liz Bowie: "with a passion for constitutional questions…a group of mostly foreign born students from Randallstown High School beat out teams from schools in (other counties) for a chance to represent Maryland in a national social studies contest. Perhaps it is because they came mostly from Nigeria, Liberia, Granada and Egypt…these students, with the help of their teacher, have turned the new experiences of living in a democracy into a quest to win the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals to be held in Washington this weekend."

U.S. students born and raised here in poverty, and to parents discriminated against on racial, ethnic or religious grounds, used to be called "disadvantaged" in our schools. Now, in a dangerous challenge on how long our Constitution will be fully functioning with regard to individual rights and liberties, it is accurate to describe a great majority of America-born students as being deeply disadvantaged for not being able to say confidently: "We know our rights!"

How troubled are you by this? Are you going to demand that your representatives in Congress -- and news bringers throughout the media -- call persistent attention to this gathering ultimate victory over America being handed to our enemies?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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